Lets just come out and say it! You think you can move, but you can’t. In fact, you suck at it. What movement am I talking about? Ok, heres a clue… Its something you do every day… Still nothing? Ok, here it is… its bending… And I’m not just talking about your knees and elbows here either. Its the big one, the one that can make you move like a pro. We all use it. When we sit, stand, lifting weights, playing golf, cycling, running… the list goes on and on.
Give up? Its a simple hip hinge. The mother of all movements. Now why would I say that? There are of course other movement patterns just as important like the squat, or the lunge? And lets not forget all the pulling and pushing patterns? The hip hinge is an important patterns, because the hinge is the prerequisite for all the other patterns. You see its all about alignment and position of the hips during static and dynamic movements. Its about weight shifting, balance and control. All our strength is located in our hips, right where our centre of gravity is located. Its the main junction between our upper and lower body. And of course, its where our gluteus muscles are located. Thats right, those muscles that we sit on for hours every day. Squeezing out all the lifeblood, oxygen and nutrients out of them.
Now why do I want you to practice this pattern?
You would be surprised if I told you how many of my patients could not do a simple hip hinge due to various factors including:
- Sitting too much. If you sit for more than 6 hours a day, you could be at risk of weakening not only your core stabilisers and gluteus, but you stand a chance of injuring yourself.
- You suffering from lower back pain during training, running, cycling or just walking or standing for too long?
- You have poor posture when you sit, stand and exercise.
- You have poor movement patterns, like bending to pick up stuff, squat problems, even walking and running.
- Its the basis of all power movements. Squats, dead lifts, kettle bell swings…
There could be other reasons why your not moving like you should.
And we can delve into your history a bit more to unravel your movement past with a good screening and evaluation. But for now, how can we move like a pro? By practicing this simple hip hinge pattern.
Stand with you back against a wall, approximately one foot length away. Now start by softening up your knees with a slight bend. Remember I said slight bend. Were not doing a squat here. There will be a squat tutorial coming soon. For now, focus on keeping:
- your eyes fixated straight ahead
- your chest up.
- your knees slightly bent
Notice a slight forward curve in your lower back. If your standing in what we call the athletic position, with your knees soft, eyes straight, and chest up? Then your are in what we call a neutral spine. This is the position of your spine that you will from now on protect with everything you got! Thats right! Its here where I put on my Biokinetics hat, and demonstrate how to spare or repair your lumber spine from undue damage. You will be learning allot more in the weeks to come, so hope you stay tuned onto my no bull blogs!
Now lets get back to hinging shall we.
Ok, now all I want from you is to shift your hips towards the wall slowly until you feel your backside touching the wall. Only touching not leaning ok? Your backside should move towards the wall and not downwards at all, because that is a squat and I’m teaching you a dead lift or hip hinge. Thats the first thing. The second thing I want you to do is maintain your neutral spine. All you now need to remember is not lose you spine, by keeping your chest up and looking straight ahead. You should feel your weight shifting over your heals as you move towards the wall and a strange sensation in your lumber spine as you slowly repeat the movement. Visualise the curve in your back maintaining the alignment as you bend forward.
Notice your pelvis and spine move as one.
It helps to put your hands on your gluteus aka bum, and feel the muscles contracting. If I had a stick, and put it down your back with your head, upper back and coccyx touching, and you can hinge forward without the stick losing contact with those 3 points? Well then whoala!!! You did it! Now keep practicing your self awareness and see how many times a day you actually use this pattern hidden away in your daily life including sports and play.
If you like this blog and want to learn more, leave a reply. I get very excited sharing my knowledge, and to bringing you only the truth and the best myself and science has to offer!